ICE lawyer resigns after being charged with stealing immigrants’ identities

A top ICE lawyer in Seattle is facing charges after allegedly stealing immigrants’ identities.

Raphael A. Sanchez, chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle, was charged Monday with one count of aggravated identity theft and another of wire fraud, according to an Associated Press report.

(Image: Wikimedia)


Sanchez, who resigned on Monday, allegedly stole the identities of seven people “in various stages of immigration proceedings” in order to defraud American Express, Bank of America, Capital One and other credit card companies, according to prosecutors with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.

A charging document was filed Monday in U.S. District Court which, according to court rules, is a type of document that can only be filed when a defendant agrees to waive a right to be indicted by a grand jury – typically a move associated with a plea agreement. Sanchez is expected to enter a plea Thursday based on the court’s calendar, the AP reported.

(Image: screenshot)

Although specific details were few in the filing, an example of one of the allegations noted an April 2016 email that Sanchez sent from his government account to his personal Yahoo account.

The information belonged to a Chinese national identified only as R.H., and  included images of the person’s U.S. permanent resident card, a utility bill and a page of R.H.’s Chinese passport.

Prosecutors allege the activities by Sanchez took place from 2013 to 2017.

Cassandra Stamm, Sanchez’s attorney, told CNN that she will withhold comment until after her client appears in court on Thursday.

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Frieda Powers


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